Lydia Slaymaker: Will the Real Lydia Please Stand Up? (52 Ancestors #49)

The name Slaymaker always makes me think of winter.  It conjures images in my head of a person building a sleigh, even though the spelling is different.  Of course, Schleiermacher, the original spelling, means “veil maker.”  Nevertheless, this auditory association has prompted me to write about Lydia Slaymaker.

In truth, I know almost nothing about her.  However, I hope that what little I do know is enough to straighten out some confusion that seems to be spreading across the internet.  There were two Lydia Slaymakers born in the same century and both lived in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  Both also died young.  I have been trying to find Lydia Slaymaker who married Nicholas Springer, but often the wrong Lydia is attached to the family trees that I come across.

Lydia Slaymaker was born in 1782, the seventh child of John and Mary (Peck) Slaymaker.1,2,4  She married Nicholas Springer, the son of Nicholas and Elizabeth (McIlvaine) Springer.2,3  They had two children:  John Slaymaker Springer (born circa 1810) and Elizabeth Springer.2,5  Lydia died on December 22, 1818 and was buried in Old Leacock Presbyterian Church cemetery.1,4

There was another Lydia Slaymaker who was born in 1769 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.2,6  She died on September 20, 1794 and was also buried in Old Leacock Presbyterian Church cemetery.6  She is often listed as the wife of Nicholas Springer and the mother of John and Elizabeth on family trees.  This is not possible.

First, Lydia was the seventh child of John and Mary Slaymaker.  The third child, Mathias, was born in 1774, so there is no way Lydia could have been born before him.2

Second, Lydia married Nicholas Springer.  Why would she be buried under the name Lydia Slaymaker?  This a good indication that Lydia Slaymaker (1769-1794) is not the correct one, and Lydia Slaymaker Springer (1782-1818) is the correct one.

Third, and last, Lydia’s son, John, was born sometime between 1800 and 1810.  It just isn’t possible for Lydia to have died in 1794 and then given birth to two children.

We all make mistakes.  This research has been a reminder to me that I need to be very careful when I’m fitting pieces together.  I need to check and re-check my dates.  With winter upon us, I’m sure there will be a number of snow days.  I can’t think of a better use for them than verifying my data.


  1. Egle, William Henry. “Leacock Presbyterian Church.” Notes and Queries: Historical, Biographical and Genealogical, Relating Chiefly to Interior Pennsylvania. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Harrisburg, 1898. 79. Google Books. Pennsylvania State Library, 15 July 2006. Web. 08 Dec. 2015.
  2. Slaymaker, Henry Cochran. “Part III. Descendants of Mathias Slaymaker, Second.” History of the Descendants of Mathias Slaymaker Who Emigrated from Germany and Settled in the Eastern Part of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, about 1710. Lancaster, Pennsylvania: n.p., 1909. 115-21. Google Books. University of Wisconsin-Madison, 29 Nov. 2007. Web. 08 Dec. 2015.
  3. Daughters of the American Revolution. “Springer, Nicholas.” A Roster of Revolutionary Ancestors of the Indiana Daughters of the American Revolution: Commemoration of the United States of America Bicentennial, July 4, 1976. Vol. 1. Evansville, IN: Unigraphic, 1976. 601.HeritageQuest Online [ProQuest]. Web. 27 Mar. 2011.
  4. C&P LaPlante Files. “Lydia Springer (1782 – 1818).” Find A Grave. N.p., 26 July 2007. Web. 20 Nov. 2015. Find A Grave Memorial# 20647591.
  5. 1840 United States Federal Census., 2009. Web. 27 Dec. 2014. Orange, Indiana. p.95. Line 18.
  6. C&P LaPlante Files. “Lydia Slaymaker (1769 – 1794).” Find A Grave. N.p., 14 Mar. 2006. Web. 08 Dec. 2015. Find A Grave Memorial# 13617389.